Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. Jul 22, 2002; 269(1499): 1467–1473.
PMCID: PMC1691053
Low worldwide genetic diversity in the killer whale (Orcinus orca): implications for demographic history.
A Rus Hoelzel, Ada Natoli, Marilyn E Dahlheim, Carlos Olavarria, Robin W Baird, and Nancy A Black
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, UK.
A Rus Hoelzel: a.r.hoelzel/at/
A low level of genetic variation in mammalian populations where the census population size is relatively large has been attributed to various factors, such as a naturally small effective population size, historical bottlenecks and social behaviour. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) is an abundant, highly social species with reduced genetic variation. We find no consistent geographical pattern of global diversity and no mtDNA variation within some regional populations. The regional lack of variation is likely to be due to the strict matrilineal expansion of local populations. The worldwide pattern and paucity of diversity may indicate a historical bottleneck as an additional factor.
Full Text
The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (126K).
Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of
The Royal Society